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July 29, 2005

Silent Protest for Maria Korp. Plus--More on Julian Gardner

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The Right to Life Association of Australia has held a silent protest outside of the Alfred Hospital against the slow killing of Maria Korp taking place inside. (HT to Truth and Action.)

The RTL Association is to be commended for standing up for the truth and for Maria in this situation. If you are in Melbourne, consider contacting them about the possibility of joining any further protests.

Now, for more news about Julian Gardner, the Public Advocate who has made the decision to withdraw Maria's food and water...

In a telling comment to The Age, Mr. Gardner revealed a touch of impatience:

"It's my belief that if this had been an ordinary case the medical team would have sat down with the family a long time ago and a decision would have been made to end her life," he said. "It's only because I've taken a very cautious, conservative approach that her treatment has continued this long."

I suppose we should be grateful for the honesty that leads him to admit that the decision he obviously wishes could have been made sooner has been a "decision to end her life."

And lest anyone should think that Mr. Gardner is a disinterested and perhaps even "cautious, conservative" individual on these matters, we should not forget the case of BWV, a 68-year-old woman who died of dehydration at Mr. Gardner's insistence in 2003 over a two-week period. (Does this sound familiar?) BWV had lived for three years on a feeding tube, and Mr. Gardner appealed all the way to Victoria's high court to have tube feedings ruled to be "treatment" rather than "palliative care" so that BWV's could be withdrawn.

His words regarding BWV (who clearly was not dying until her feeding tube was removed) are eerily reminiscent of his recent words about Maria:

"...She died of natural causes the same way that 95 per cent of people die. It was normal and natural," he said.

BWV was alleged to have expressed a desire not to be kept alive artificially. Maria apparently never said anything of the kind, and no one alleges that she did. And, indeed, at the time of BWV's death, worries were expressed about the danger to people on feeding tubes in nursing homes, people who had never expressed any aversion to feeding tubes. But not to worry, said Mr. Gardner, this was only about those who had previously expressed their wishes:

Mr Gardner said comments that the case put a large number of nursing-home residents being fed through tubes at risk were never true, as the court decision affected only people who expressed their wishes while they were competent.

"The alarm that was raised was always unjustified, but what I think it has done is given greater certainty to people making decisions about treatment in situations where people have previously expressed their wishes not to have that treatment," he said.

Well, Mr. Gardner, what do you say now? Is that really all it was about?

Posted by lydia at July 29, 2005 1:46 PM


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